The patent war between Yahoo and Facebook is over. The two companies not only settled the suit but extended the multiyear partnership between the two, including new deals for advertising.
The conflict began in March when Yahoo accused the social network of infringing on 10 of its patents. These included patents concerning displaying content, messaging users, controlling spam, and other topics. Facebook then returned with a countersuit Yahoo was actually infringing on 10 of Facebook’s patents. And Facebook went to the trouble of naming each offending Yahoo product, such as Yahoo’s home page, Flickr, and Yahoo Finance.
In June, Yahoo’s counsel requested an extension to respond to Facebook’s claims, saying that the extra days would help Yahoo and Facebook come to a settlement.
According to All Things D, today’s settlement includes a new advertising agreement, which will allow Yahoo to pull Facebook’s “like” data and display it on ads on Yahoo. Yahoo interim chief executive Ross Levinsohn and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg facilitated the deal. Both companies have also agreed to license some of the offending technology to each other. Facebook explained in a press release that it will help Yahoo with “large media event coverage” by integrating it on the social network.
The two companies have been involved for a long time now, with a “multiyear contract” that allowed Yahoo to use Facebook as a way to distribute content from its site. Yahoo then supported Facebook’s “Social Bar” on its sites, which Facebook says 90 million people have used.
The lawsuit, which began under Yahoo’s former chief executive Scott Thompson, looked like a last-ditch effort on Yahoo’s part to get money. The company has had a number of pitfalls as it tries to stay afloat in a new media industry. The company recently began laying off 2,000 employees and had plans to restructure. But Thompson who was behind many of these plans, was ousted as CEO in May after he was found lying about a computer science degree on his resume.
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